The Basics of Baseball : How Baseball Dugouts are Used

BEN GRAHAM: All right, so here we are in the
dugout. It’s called the dugout for a very obvious reason. It is usually dug out into
the ground, providing some shade and a little bit of cool from the midsummer heat. Baseball
is generally played during the dog days of summer. I’m sitting here on the bench, about
in the position where the pitching coach would normally sit. The head coach would usually
sit to my right, pitching coach, and then the hitting coach on down, and the people
who are not actively involved in the game. During–when the team is on offense, the entire
team will be seated here watching the game as the batters go up, cheering their batters
on. When their team is on defense, the bench is much emptier. This would be the home team’s
dugout here and there’s also a home and a visitor’s side. We’ll walk out here to the
place where the batter, who is in the hole, would generally stand. “In the hole” means
that you are not the next batter to go up but you are the next batter after that. In
baseball, you have a batter, an on-deck hitter, and then a person who’s in the hole. As I
walk outside here, this will be where the on-deck circle would be. You’re waiting to
be the next batter to go up. You’ve got a good view of the plate. You can watch what
the pitcher is doing. Generally, a batter in the on-deck circle will use this opportunity
to study the pitcher, try to figure out his patterns, try to figure out his strategy,
what he’s going to do, does he have a high release on his fastball, how does his arm
action go, is he faster or slower on his changeup, is he throwing a lot of curveballs, where
is the defense lining up. Usually, there’s a lot of strategy that goes in, and when you’re
on the on-deck circle, it gives you the opportunity to review that strategy and plan your course
of attack when you hit the batter’s box. And that’s just the basic look at the dugout.

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